To become a parent is an amazing, life-changing experience but sleepless nights with a crying baby can not only be exhausting but isolating too. Colic affects up to one in five babies, and occurs mostly in the evening and night time.
However, parents need not feel alone. The truth is that colic and sleepless nights affect babies across the globe and the only difference is how the parents choose to soothe their little ones!
Midwife Nikki Khan says "It's reassuring to discover there are different ways to help babies to sleep, and ideas you may not have heard of in your parenting circle. Many mums will have heard of baby massage, but in Sweden they instead practice 'buffing'. After laying their barn on its belly, Swedish mammas and pappas pat the baby's bottom in a circular motion until it drifts into peaceful slumber."
In Japan, mothers let their akachan know it's time to head to the land of nod by rhythmically tapping them on the belly. Known as 'ton-ton', this method is thought to be particularly effective straight after a feed.
On the other side of the Sea of Japan, they have an alternative solution. Korean mothers are encouraged to stick to a strict post-partum diet of miyuk gook - that's seaweed soup! Rich in calcium, iron and protein, it's believed to be an essential part of post-birth recovery for both mother and baby.
Meanwhile, in a practice strongly encouraged by the Danish Health Authority, parents in Denmark are in the habit of leaving their babies outside for a bracing outdoor snooze. The theory is that the brisk Danish air encourages sound sleep, a hearty appetite and general wellbeing.
Nikki Khan continues "With so many different ideas and traditions across the world, the only trend we can see is that there is no one right way to get your baby to sleep. Every baby is unique, so it's all about finding what works for you and your little one."
"This also applies to treating colic. Your baby may have colic if she seems otherwise healthy but cries continuously. No one is certain what causes colic but a likely explanation may be the build-up of trapped wind in your baby's bowel, causing discomfort. Baby massage can help, as can anti-colic drops with simeticone."